A review of Candi Staton supported by Meeshelle at The Ironworks on the 3rd of July, 2013.

Meeshelle Newell 1

Opening for The legendary Candi Staton was our very own Meeshelle Newell, better known for her role in the Leonard Jones Potential she executed a flawless stripped back set which showcased the purity and power of her voice, I look forward to hearing more of this.

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The room throbbed as the band took their places, building the anticipation with instant funky 70s bass and Disco dips. Entering with a shimmering wiggle to an already heightened atmosphere Candi Staton the Queen of Southern Soul was given a rousing welcome at the Ironworks, Inverness. Opening with a commanding ‘Listen to the music’ which had the already standing audience grooving to the disco vibes, transporting us back to the glitter ball era.

Candi rendered our very own photographer Roddy Mackenize useless whilst blowing a kiss and declaring ‘Honest i do love you’ to her rather flustered victim with her second number, much to my amusement !

With each song came a narrative, reminding us that we truly were in the presence of a living legend, song after song we relived the 70’s classic soundtrack to her diverse career ‘Nights on Broadway’ , ‘So blue’, ‘I’m a prisoner’, ‘Suspicious minds’ and an empowering version of ‘Stand by your man’

Spouting out relationship advice and wisdom between each song she urged the young ladies in the audience to find an older man to treat her right !

“You might think I’m crazy to love a man twice my age” as she delved into ‘I’d rather be an old mans sweet heart than a young mans fool’ Captivated by the energy of the now 73 year old Candi – i did wonder if such a man did exist and if so, perhaps it was a world record !? No amount of viagra would keep that alive !

Taking it down a notch she mesmerised with her version of ‘Ghetto’ I have to say it was crushingly beautiful, sung with a soulful ache in the way only Candi Staton can.

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As promised ‘Young hearts run free’ a song we’ve all danced to was met with the audience singing and dancing along. Like all of her songs Candi reveals a little bit about herself connecting herself with each person in the room.

Known for her Gospel Music Candi asked us to indulge her in a little ‘Church’ in which she swung out a medley of well known Gospel songs.

Candi invited the audience to a Session having regaled tales of hanging out with musicians, friends and producers, The Session was a playful showcase of each member of the band including her backing singers but we will come back to them in a minute !

Candi oozes light and life and has a message to share offering testimony of her sustaining faith throughout her music and returning the now Club Anthem ‘You’ve got the love’ to its original Gospel roots. Needless to say everyone had their ‘hands up in the air’ !

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By popular demand Candi and the band gave an encore maintaining the contemporary Gospel theme she continues to impart her eternal message of love, However I was slightly distracted with sinful thoughts having had an eyeful of the backing singers abs through his now gaping shirt ( told you I’d get back to them)

Needless to say ‘ I love Candi’

You can see more photographs of Candi Staton and Meeshelle ,on the night,here.

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Tea drinking, Vintage Caravan towing, Festival floozey, I have long been in engaged in the local music scene. The opportunity to write came when I was considering donating my brain to a good cause, having suspended such pursuits, dithering over other artistic endeavours and raising my three sons. Despite being immersed in music I am not a musician, writing about what I love is the next best thing. When it comes to musical tastes I must admit that my iPod has something of a split personality. I'd like to say its not all fun and gigs but that wouldn't be true as I run The Tea Posy a quirky Vintage Tearoom, creative community space and unique live music venue within The Greenhouse Dingwall. You can contact Julia at Julia@Invernessgigs.co.uk